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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  December 7, 2009 10:00am-12:00pm EST

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either in the form of a monthly dividend or a payroll tax deduction or some combination of those two things. but unless we do that, carbon emissions are going to continue to increase and a public is going to have to -- of the public is going to have to look into this problem. it is fairly complicated. that is why i decided to write a book. but we're going to have to put pressure on our government's for our children and grandchildren. they continue to look only at the short time scales, but we have to consider the long-term future for young people. host: james hansen is in houston, the director of the directorgoddard -- the director of the nasa goddard institute'. and he is the author of "storms of my grandchildren" we
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appreciate your time. guest: i should add that my opinions are my personal ones, not those of the government. host: we appreciate your time and we will see you back here tomorrow morning. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] . . no votes expected today. live coverage on c-span.
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a legislative business begins at noon. the senate is starting their eighth day of debate on health care. a number of amendments are expected today in bonn by sinister nelson of -- those are expected after 3:00 p.m. eastern trade watch live coverage on [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] -- c-span2. ben bernanke is speaking at the economic club of washington. you can watch that live on line and listen on c-span radio. today is the anniversary of the japanese attacks on pearl harbor. the national parks service has been collecting stories from survivors of that day. here is a brief look. >> of pennsylvania was the flagship of the is a big fleet. we were the flagship of the navy. it was admiral campbell's ship but he was not on it that day.
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>> when we used to go out on patrol, the saying used to be the japs are attacking, the japs are attacking and we would run into our battle stations. most of us knew we were going to have defied the japanese. where that trickle-down from, i have no idea. i maybe it was from the politicians to the officers and the officers to us. we expected to buy them eventually. we just did not know when. there was no need for radio communication. it was obvious to all of the ships that we were under attack. they had as carrying ammunition to the three and should 50. i had just been handed a shell -- a three inch 50. the next thing i knew i was flat on my face. something went for my right side out might rear end.
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i had five pieces of shrapnel in my left leg. my right hand was shot open. i lost part of my left elbow, but my bicep muscle. they put me into a bog -- bunk. i saw one of the third class regimen to go by and i asked, -- then i realize that either something is wrong with me or something was wrong with him. i said it is highland. he said, oh, and walked away from me. >> if you would like to watch more from the service interviews go to our web site, c-span.org. the u.s. house comes in at 10:30
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p.m. until then, an update from the "washington journal." the news room is adriel bettelheim. ma'aming editor of u.s. quarterly. more senate debate? >> never seems to stop, does it? they worked through the weekend and president barack obama gave a pep rally to the senate democrats yesterday telling them this is the most important thing to come before conference since social security was presented. they'll be in all likelihood, taking up an amendment that discusses drug importation whether consumers can bring in drugs from another country where they may sell for less than they do in the united states. tomorrow in all likelihood a very contentious issue, abortion language and how that will play
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out. remember this was a big issue when the house passed it's issue of early hall in november. host: see the numbers one more time on healthcare. this is this half hour's topic. we're looking at a piece this morning. mr. adriel bettelheim. he writes the best holiday gifts the senate must pass it by this year's end. here's the deal. if obama sign as healthcare bill before a state of the union address and starts with historic victory to proclaim before the country and can pivot to the issue. jobs and how to create them. how important is the end of this year deadline we've heard so much about? guest: timing is everything. the longer there's not an agreement the more questions about whether or not there's a government. both the congressional and
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others have staked they're legacy and talked about the need for this change if they can't bring ate cross the finish line they're in big trouble and closer they get to the midterm elections without an bill or agreement or law the more risk some of the lawmakers will be. i agree with,e j and i think they need a bill out of the senate and then come as rather difficult conference to reconcile the senate and house versions before getting anything to the president's desk so it's almost too optimistic to say he will have something in late to mid january. host: viewers to the piece. senate must pass healthcare this year. what's your opinion? republican, (202) 737-0001. democrat, (202) 737-0002. independent, (202) 628-0205.
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mr. adriel bettelheim, back to the president's visit yesterday. we have video. symbolic. substantive and a little bit of both. what's this mean for the party of the president coming up? guest: showing him a little love. they've been working pretty much nonstop on this and his assistant almost said that. it's an empathetic gesture i'm here with you too but it was lacking much in substance. the president has been very reluctant to talk about specifics. he doesn't bring a laundry list of demands of what he wants to see in this bill and that frustrates senators that want to see more leadership. two things the president doesn't want to under mine discussions going on behind closed doors saying i want this when harry reed and others might agree to something else. number two wants to keep
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congress invested with them emotionally and let them hash out the specifics and doesn't want them to turn to him and say, okay you tell us what you want. it's this dynamic all year long and i wouldn't expect a change at this point. host: in addition to abortion and public option. adriel bettelheim, we're reading inkq there's closure fights. procedural things that may have to happen pretty darn soon in order for a bill to happen by the end thifs year? can you explain what that's about? guest: senate rules could take a long time to go into but the simple truth is democrats need 60 votes to advance the debate and bring the questions that are dividing they're caucus and the republicans who are almost unanimously opposed to the healthcare overhaul will force
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harry reed and senate democratic leadership to come up with the 60 votes so. what we're going to see is reid to push motions limiting debate in senate speak and try to force at least some aspect of the bill. we're not sure really which ones yet. he realizes there's little time left in the legislative year and they're desire is to pass something. anything by the year's end. >> we'll from the leaders. florida first call. bruce. independent caller. hi. there. caller: i was very big watcher of c-span and i appreciate all the work you guys do. but for me, when i see a senator standing up and see all these empty seats behind him if there was such a great concern about the healthcare or any debate in the senate shouldn't all
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senators be there and listening and partakeing in the discussion? where are they? host: what's the reality there? guest: well the real stuff is sometimes off the floor. every senator has - there's all sorts of personal privilege rights that can be invoked. everyone can speak sometimes on multiple issues, there's a lot of deal making going on in the rooms and chambers throughout the capital and that's where we are right now. they've been talking about this for six or eight months and most senators have staked their position and everyone knows more of less what they would vote and now they're trying change the language and you do that really by assembling coalition and holding out your vote and that's going on right now. so the real action right now is kind of behind closed doors.
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host: louisiana, what do you make of his piece, the best holiday gift. he makes the point in his view the senate must pass the bill by the end of the year. what do you think? caller: well the only thing this is, is just political. they're where i had about being re-elected. they don't give a damn about us people out here. we don't what - want this public option they'll break insurance companies and then it's going to go to single pay and anybody with any common sense or knowledge of anything can see it. except the stupid democrat senators. and what they don't realize is elections could really get rid of all of them.
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they're all worried about, like i said, about re-election. host: got the point. adriel bettelheim ofkq. guest: viewer articulates if you have a government run insurance plan pieced against private insurance plan that could squeeze the private insurance out of business. from hospitals and doctors and all other medical providers. how this works out is while we're all here watching what the senator does. the caller, sentiment like this makes it a tough vote for a democrat like marylander who is a tough swing vote in this. said in no uncertain terms she can't support health overhaul with a public plan. that kind of sentiment is making
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it very difficult for democrats to manage that. you may have conservative people and liberal. it's a tough balancing act from reid. host: congress dot org is one website associated with cq that you with a interest might want to go to. lots of information on healthcare. harry reed had to say about his >> the question we are asked is, what is your disappointment? my disappointment is we have not had a single public statement from the republicans that they will do anything to help us with the bill.
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quite to the contrary. that is too bad for the american people. the american people last year called for change and change is taking place. the president did spend some time going to the things we have accomplished this year. even before he became president, in december 670,000 jobs were lost. february was more than 700,000 jobs. we have made great progress. we're going to continue to do so. host: what did you hear from the majority leader lech yesterday? -- majority leader yesterday? guest: they are working hard on some of the center republicans,
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a live yes no -- olympia snowe. she supported the senate finance version of the health-care overhaul. the plan that they're debating has deviated from that and she is holding out on her vote. she went to the white house to talk to president obama as well. they are locking in on her. the majority leader certainly cannot be surprised that there is uniformed republican opposition to this at this point. it is a big, sweeping, expensive piece of social engineering that a lot of conservative republicans have problems with. moreover, they say that president obama went back on his campaign pledge to do health care reform in an open, bipartisan manner. his reform the an partisan manner. so these are sort of standing
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talking points and it shows why things so difficult to bring even one lawmaker across the aisle. host: from arizona. law remember from democrats do. you think the senate must pass this bill this year? caller: certainly important. it's ridiculous. they need control of things and drug companies are just out of line and there needs to be some regulation. ho host thanks. mr. adriel bettelheim can you take us deeper into the drug purpose amendment coming up this week. >> yeah this is a topic that comes up all the time in healthcare debates. there's a concern about the rising drug costs and the role they play in medical inflation. some people that are policy junkies might remember in 2003 when the bush administration and
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congress expanded medicare and drug prescription benefit. there was a lot of talk about allowing consumers bringing drugs from a broad and seniors taking buss to canada and somehow to limit importation that's banned now for safety grounds so this has emerged in the healthcare debate now. what's interesting after president barack obama campaigned on bringing drug cost down. he cut a deal that would insulate them from some drug price cuts that would be mandated in this new system. so this effort to liberalize importation is greatly opposed guy form suit call companies and they point to this deal with the white house. interesting to see how it's debated in all likelihood today and see where administration
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comes in on this. we can't stipulate drugs coming under a liberal regime will be safe. host: how about more detail on abortion that we touched on earlier. so much talk about annelle son amendment. what will we see? h guest: ben nelson is working with republican from utah. on tougher abortion restrictions that would essentially prohibit the public plan being discussed from offering elective abortion discussion and it makes it harder for people to buy coverage to have access to abortion services. this language that they're working on mimics the one that was asserted in the house bill. that was a product of amendment
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offered by congressman stup ac and what they're trying do. nelson and hatch and other anti-abortion forces in the senate is insert this language so when they go to congress and combine with it the house bill, it'll survive. but there's a lot of abortion right percentages and this nelson act will more than likely fail. host: clyde on the independent line. morning. is it a must pass this year bill you think? al caller: absolutely not. the best thing they can do for healthcare is get government and insurance companies out of the way and let the patient deal with the healthcare providers. this is about redistribution of wealth and controlling 1/6 of the economy. no bill with the type of legislation in this bill that
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would, for noncompliance example, it has penalties and fines up to $250,000 for throwing people in jail for five years. why would that be in a health bill? this is a tyrannical bill by a government trying get control of the economy. also it's - we're going to see abortion, illegal immigration put in this health care system and all the negatives that they say they took out. it'll go right back in. this is not a healthcare bill. was it 2000 pages? why you need that much legislation. what this government should be doing is trying create jobs and it won't do that because it wants the nuise around the neck of the public. track announcer: thanks for calling. the caller mentioned jobs and whole topic of the economy. can you take the healthcare
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debate and lingering issue of jobs and put them together. does one effect the other right now and how much? guest: your pushing an ambitious overhaul during a serious economic downturn and that makes people very anxious because they're having trouble making they're ends meet and they're worried about their kids having a good future and there probably knowing somebody that's under water. this is risky to talk about tinkering with people's health angle meant but politically it's not a bad time to try. argueing for the status quo when the economy stinks is not a palatable proposition. you don't let a good crisis go to waist. you swing for the fences and push for bold offenses and say the country needs change. take advantage of sort of malleable public opinion and try
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to rally people around the cost. devil is in the details and we're seeing push back now that the house has passed it's house care plan and senate maybe weeks away from passing it's plan. the closer you get people get and try to assess out the details. host: heard from majority leader harry reed and mitch o'connell spoke yesterday and gave his particular take on things. especially the president's visit. >> i think the fact that the president of the united states is over meeting with democrats only telling you where this debate has gone. earlier in the year there was talk about producing a bill that 80 of 100 senators could support doing it on a truly bipartisan basis and as you follow this over the weeks and months it's drifted into a completely partisan effort to take a half a
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trillion dollars cuts out of medicare and produce and effect higher insurance premiums for 85 percent of the country. not surprisingly that's not a bill that generates much enthusiasm on our side of the aisle. here we are a few weeks before christmas with the democrats trying je squeeze every matter swallow a difficult pill for the american people. host: how about more on strategy on the minority side moving forward? guest: well i think they would like to drag out this debate to promote they're ideas. we saw john mccain in the background of the last clip. he already tried to get the bill recommitted the finance committee which is killing the bill. saying you have to restore medicare cuts to help finance
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the expansion of coverage. i think the other republicans would like to put even more pressure on democrat colleagues and see if they are willing to make a tough vote. part of this is delay but part of this too is and attack line. trying create the notion that democrats are forcing a bill a lot of people don't support through the process and the poling suggests people are pretty anxious. favorable ratings are dropping and it's eroding into overall support. i think they sense weakness and democrats picked up historically republican leading districts and there's democrats representing red states now and i think they see obviously some benefit in this attack line and drawing out
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the debate. host: this is adriel bettelheim. the "washington post" says the best holiday gift that the senate must pass the health bill. getting your reaction to that headline. florida, gary, republican? caller: first thing is we forgot who works for who in this congress. or country. the congress is supposed to be by the people for the people. a lot of people in this country are suffering as a result of the health policies in place throughout the country. i believe if the senate and house of representatives had to have the same coverage they would pass for the people. if they had no coverage like the average person in this country, we see the healthcare problem reconciled fast and there would
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be some sort of coverage for all people in this country and that's all i have to say. host: new orleans now. line for democrats. caller: sir, is it still time in the end of the this bill to use the nuclear option. i remember vaguely in the bush administration they never had 60 votes in republicans and i remember, dick cheney taking the seat and casting the vote to let the republicans pass several things. also i'd like to apologize for billy toezan from louisiana that has single-handedly destroyed far farm suitle. guest: nuclear option is come up in a series of debate. most recently on judicial
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nominees. it's an up simple majority to ram basically a question or bill, what have you, through. this is considered hard ball tactics in bad form and a chamber that values common ty and tradition. in this case they'd discussed this strategy in terms of passing part of the health overhaul through a process called reconciliation. not sure that's what the caller is talking about but they could have used budget rules to try to get part of this through rather than 60 votes. they have for strategy reasons decided to go with the 60 vote rule and that's calculation harry reed made. host: how about more mr. adriel bettelheim on the evolution of what maybe used to be called the public option. we read this headline in the wall street about a new government run health proposal.
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they point out democrats are employing the federal reserve plan as a model. guest: this is one thing going on. we talked about how things going on behind closed doors and there as so-called group often. five moderate and five liberal talking about possible things. one that has occur supply and demand a public option modeled on the plan perhaps administered to the department of human health and services. under one configuration they would have the federal government administering this thing but the actual insurance plans could be offered by non-profits or even for profit companies. what they do is try to thread the needle between those concerned with the government
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giving too much control and those that don't want an tot it is kind of trying to find out the delicate compromise of how much government is enough to get to 60 votes. host: with the opposition think of this plan? what would the opposition think? guest: they would think anything that is a federal public option, whether it is wide or a government plan, is unacceptable. snowe says a public option in any guise is unacceptable. she wants to put off that question for a while and determine whether there is fair enough pricing in insurance coverage and maybe then have a coverage plans and years and
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down the road, they trigger option. that would be their response to such a thing. in the house, they have passed a much bigger country were, public run option. ownby compromise we would have to see between the house and the senate. -- a bigger, truer, public run option. host: one more call here. caller: i have a simple question. i have been following this issue off and on for the past year, i guess. what i found confusing is the fact that the total cost seems to be different depending on which source i am referring to. i would like to know what is it that is going to cost close to
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$1 trillion for the health care reform bill? thank you. host: can you help us out? guest: there is no question that it is a little confusing. there are two bills. the senate bill is very much in place which will cost between $800,000,000,000.-1918718098 dollars. they want to expand medicare a great deal more. it will be in excess of $1 trillion price tag. -- will cost between $800 billion and $900 billion. each time they make a policy change they have to go to the congressional business office. >> we believe this segment as the u.s. house is about to double in to start their work week. a general speech is to begin with and legislative work at
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12:00 p.m. 13 bills will be considered mostly dealing with environmental issues. no votes are expected. live coverage here on c-span. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., december 7, 2009. i hereby appoint the honorable john garamendi to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, nancy pelosi, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 6, 2009, the
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chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for the morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to 30 minutes and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip limited to five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. as we listen to the debate in the other body, there are two missing factors that would create the momentum for reform and revitalization of our health care. there is a stunning disconnect between the two sides on the nature of the problem and the impact of government's involvement in health care. opponents argue that america has the best health care in the
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world that would be destroyed by federal involvement, that would undermine the quality of existing care while cost increases will make health care unaffordable for individuals purchasing insurance and ultimately for the taxpayer as well. these are alternative universes being occupied here. what opponents describe could not be more different from what my research, my constituents and my personal experience tells me. there's an important -- the important feature is that for many in congress there is no sense of urgency to compel action. and the more i think about it the clearer the explanation becomes, because for more members of congress there is no urgency because they are perhaps the most health care secure people in the world and all can enjoy the finest health
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care in the world. no one in congress is likely to go bankrupt this year or the next from their pre-existing conditions. it doesn't matter. indeed, all are eligible for participation in the federal employee health benefits program. they are able to access the house position when. when they travel overseas they have military doctors. about a quarter of the members of the house and senate are eligible for medicare and for veterans program. no wonder there is no sense of urgency in senators and congresspeople can be sincere in their conviction that america has the best health care in the world. the disconnect is the failure to recognize the government's role in all that they enjoy. there's a simple solution to break this dead lock.
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support my bill to end government involvement in the health care of members of congress. i propose until comprehensive health care reform is signed by the president there be no federal investment in health insurance for members of congress, the exchange, there would be no federal involvement in their medicare. they would not be eligible to be participating in the dreaded government single payer. there would be no veterans, no house positions, no military doctors. those, after all, are socialized medicine. they would be in exactly the same position as over 200 million americans who are currently underinsured, uninsured or they are relying on the intent -- the good intentions of a spouse's
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employer or their ability to negotiate insurance on the private market, contending with their pre-existing conditions and the fine print. mr. speaker, i am absolutely confident that within six months of members of congress experiencing the health care world of most of america, dealing with the fine print, the pre-existing conditions, the uncertainty, the bureaucracy, i am absolutely certain that we would have the consensus necessary to move forward with a comprehensive health insurance reform that americans want, need and deserve. i would urge my colleagues to join me in sponsoring this legislation to get government out of the health care of members of the house and senate.
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thank you. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: thank you, build blumenauer. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, for two minutes. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, a headline in "the wall street journal" last week read job cuts. therein lies the jobs problem. the democrats' stimulus plan was supposed to be a job creator. the american people know that true economic stimulus starts with tax relief for working families and small businesses. they know that burdening their same families and businesses with an expensive health care program with unknown consequences is a job killer. they know that placing
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additional energy taxes on the public through the cap and trade system makes businesses pull back on any new investments for the fear of the unknown costs that they will face. a stable economy with no surprises looming in the future will give confidence that businesses. and they are the true economic engines of our country. tax relief promises more capital in the hands of those who invest in the future. at the time of the stimulus vote, republicans wanted more funds put into the highway construction and army corps projects, but that stnt happen. the president -- but that didn't happen. the president held a jobs summit just this last week. he knows that more than 15 million americans are looking for work. but -- let's hope he chooses a new and better path. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back the balance of his time. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until noon today. elsewhere in washington, the federal reserve chairman ben bernanke is speaking at the economic club of washington. you can watch his remarks live
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at 1245 eastern on c-span. today's the anniversary of the attack on pearl harbor. here is a brief look. >> i was a crew member of the utility's water in two on four islands. -- on ford island. i was at the hangar when the attack began. we thought a plane had crashed. we ran out of the hangar looking across the runway. we saw the smoke coming out from the hangar. we still did not know what was happening. about that time, here comes a plane and diving now and then dropping two bombs. we could see the symbol of the rising sun on his wing. then we knew we were being attacked by the japanese.
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i started looking for a place to hide. we did not have any bomb shelters. here come the japanese planes flying from south to north on the west side of ford island. there were fiat -- flying is slow and i could suee the goggles. i look out there and hear the splattered concrete where the bullets were hitting. i jumped behind a tractor and did give me the protection i needed. >> to watch more from the national park service interviews, go2net -- go to, c- span.org. now i panel looks at the effectiveness of the government's policy to eliminate home foreclosures. this was part of the consumer federation of americas
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conference and is about one hour. >> we have a series of presentations about housing in this economy and particularly consumer issues in the housing economy and the unprecedented strengths we find ourselves in. we are here to cover an important issue and that is the effort to assist homeowners in find themselves unable to make their mortgage payments because they have a mortgages that have become an unstable and unsustainable or because they have lost jobs in this economy or lost hours in the economy and find themselves threatened with the fall and eventual foreclosure. in -- threatened with default. this is a real problem. it is not theoretical.
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by the end of this year, the number of people who have lost their homes are ranges anywhere from three to four million. credit suisse estimated that as a dramatic efforts to pick slow the rate seven delinquencies, the faults, and foreclosures as many as 12 million people might lose their homes by 2012. in some stage her receiving foreclosure notices there are of thousands per month. the pace continues to be relentless. as the secretary mentioned, it is being driven increasingly by the deteriorating economic situation and joblessness that is plaguing our country. our panel today has a series of experts who know more than most living people about the process these, programs, and efforts that have been taken to try to stem the foreclosures -- processes, programs, and effors.
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philip caldwell is chief of the home ownership preservation office of the department of the treasury. -- phyllis. she sends her regrets and will come down here as soon as the brady is over. hopefully what she will be able to join us. as disappointed as we are that she that called into an important meeting, we are pleased that thanh heightens -- tom heideman is joining us. tom has a background in housing and local government and has worked for the national association of realtors, an insurance firm, the government of the district of columbia, holds a master's degree in public policy from georgetown. it is a small, local institution here in washington.
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the next person has been a colleague and compatriot on the consumer side of housing and community development work for many years. we have worked together for many years on a variety of many issues and i have found her to be one of the most informed advocates in this area. she is currently director of the hurricane relief project which was launched in the aftermath of hurricane katrina. she does plenty of extra duties on issues broadly of mortgage foreclosures and making homes affordable mitigation programs. throughout most of debbie's career, she has worked for local, community-based organizations to increase access to high-quality, low-cost financial-services and to eliminate discriminatory practices. she had a long tenure at the center for community change, a great ally and friend of ours, where i first began working with her. she has a master's degree in urban and regional planning from
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the university of north carolina, chapel hill. at the end of the table is the executive director of the hope now alliance which is a group of servicers, lenders, counselors that was formed at the very beginning of this crisis. it is an emergency response organization. from january 2009 to september 9th have helped millions of homeowners avoid foreclosure with modifications to the government and programs initiated with their assistance before the treasury department announced the administration party plans. i know where roy to learn a lot about the work of hope now.
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with that, we will go down the road. each presenter will spend a few minutes giving some updates, background that we will hope -- that we hope will form a cohesive whole. without further delay, tom. >> good morning. i want to give you a brief background and a view of where things are with the making affordable program. the basic overview for the program was that it was decided to reach up to three to four million people. it runs through the end of 2012. the basic thrust of this is to bring borrowers who are at risk of imminent default or at 60 day delinquencies and bring their mortgage payments and down to 31% debt to income ratio.
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the way that is done is that the property has to be honor occupied, have a performing mortgages -- has to be owner occupied, etc. we can do this for interest-rate reductions, term extensions, a principal forbearances. it is an essential waterfall. the incentive structure is that these services are required to bring the debt can income ratio and there is a dollar to dollar match from 30% 2 daut 31%. -- 38% to 31%. there is a trial period. after that, they pay out incentives. there is a trial. to make sure the bar or in the program will be successful. the incentives are roughly as
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followed, aside from the dead income ratio matching, -- debt to income ratio imagine, you have he borrower being eligible for $5,000 in principal reductions, servicers eligible for paver success programs at about $1,000 per year for the first three years. -- for pay for success programs. eligibility is looked at through an npv model that catholics the revenue stream that investors will get if it went into foreclosure today's verse is modifying the loans in terms of the head with the government incentives are. government incentives are designed to weigh modification more heavily than foreclosure. that is the essential thrust of the program. recently there were some tweaks
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made to that model has to facilitate more modification in areas that are experiencing a rapid home price declines. recognizing that server sirs and investors might feel less value today is worth more than -- servicers investors had, there is an additional incentive to investors or the modifications which is something that will to the scale in favor of modification. one of the key things about the program was to mitigate re risk mitigate ahead-default. -- was to mitigate risks over re-default. he would have to file a form to allow your servicer to play tax return. there is a number of things that
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essentially act as a reed underwriting loan -- every- underwriting alone. there is a trial period before incentives are paid out a. today, there are over 650,000 try modifications in place. on average, they are saving about $640 a month. that is the good manners. the challenges, as it were, and i am sure we would get into this later is that the conversion rate, as i said they have to go through a 90 day trial. he for they get into permanent modification. the number is in the low tens of thousands that have converted. we are disappointed in that number. we think our estimate of people who can convert to try modifications his more in the range of 375,000.
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we have launched a conversion drive, if you will. we have engaged counselors to reconnect with boris to make sure paperwork is committed -- submitted. -- reconnect with the borrowers. we are holding servicers accountable for the numbers pahanhe had eligible. we went to help borrowers get their river work in and make a timely decision on modifications. we have assigned to the top, or the largest case, we have assigned swat teams behalf -- we have said swat teams hit officials and others who monitor the operations, answer policy questions, and ensure things are moving swiftly.
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aside from that, we feel one of the biggest challenges to the program is paper work. in the ramp up, we felt it was very important to get as many borrowers a second chance as possible. a lot of them came in over the fund. now they have to submit paperwork. there might be a significant fallout if people have not submitted a report within five- six months. we have taken a number of steps to help facilitate that process along. we have links and the trial. and streamlined the documentation process. after this, there may be some fallout based on those criteria alone. we should be aware of that. there are other challenges that we are very much aware of. here we have worked with debbie and others and they have brought to as a number of concerns that servicers routinely lose support, guidelines are not necessarily being followed, some
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people are being moved to foreclosure in violation of our guidelines, and a lot of unemployed people are unable to use the program. these are areas we are taking seriously. on the foreclosure program, which i am sure you have heard about, we have entered into a dialogue with servicers and attorneys to make sure there is greater communication between server sirs, foreclosure attorneys, and borrowers so people are not overwhelmed or thrown off if they are being considered for a modification and they receive a foreclosure notices. heck can be very disconcerting and we recognize that and it needs to be rectified. he wants to see if this can be tweaked in any way does -- to prevent this from happening. unemployment is a challenge.
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the program was designed eight- nine months ago with a different set of circumstances. we recognize and growing unemployment poses a unique challenge to the program. granted, this will not solve unemployment challenges but we recognize that we may need to do more on that. essentially the, the way this works now if you have unemployment in coming can be counted provided that it is longer than nine months towards your income in the npv tabulation is which leaves people unable to get a modification. that is a top priority. the data we have released in the last months, state-by-state data, and we will be releasing the conversion data next week. going forward we will see more and more detailed data as trends develop.
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we are opening of transparency and. there is a discussion of making the npv model more available. with that i will turn it over to debbie. >> thank you. it is a pleasure to be here. i would like to talk about the context for the crisis of than what the implications are as well as reactions to the government's proposal, the grant program that tom was talking about. he laid out the dimensions of the foreclosure crisis. it is stunning in a bad way. it is astonishing how many people are facing foreclosure in this nation. i am trying to think if there is
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some way if we can at geographically, one or two ways in this room would represent the number of families out of this crowd that are past due on their mortgages and potentially facing foreclosure. it is a lot of people. if i asked for a show of hands, many of you either know someone who has gone for foreclosure or is at risk of it, or have had a foreclosure on your street, in your neighborhood, or more than one. we have had foreclosures on our street. it is a problem that is very broad, very deep, and has very profound implications for the future of our country. the crisis is important to recognize and has been coming in waves. the first wave was the sub- prime. his second wave has been the
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option arms that are using -- that are being used in high- priced markets to get people in homes that were not affordable. the third wave is unemployment. . .
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folks in those communities that disproportionately have option arms. we know that the unemployment figures are much higher in the african-american community particularly, but also for the latino community than for the country as a whole and historically, the fha market has been very targeted to the minority community, too. the indications of people 1, 2, 3, 4 * been hit by foreclosures -- we are seeing hundreds of dollars of wealth being stripped out of these communities. there is a huge difference in
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the wealth gap between white families and families of color. i think it may take those families in those communities generations to recover from this crisis. it has had ripple effects, not just these different waves of these types of loans, but starting in the subprime market and expand into the broader financial market, we have seen the loss of revenue at the state and local level, i suspect everyone of us is in a community were school systems are suffering because there's not enough money, police and fire and essential services are suffering because there is not enough money. there are states that cannot pay their bills. if you live in california and you are owed money by the state, you might get an iou instead of the actual cash. the implications are profound. and i think because of this, it is important that we take
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effective steps to try to intervene and contain this and and the problem. and that whatever we do, that we get it right because we will not have a lot of fights at this apple. efforts have been launched to try to contain the foreclosure crisis. tom gave a lot of my presentation. [laughter] i will skip some of the party has covered. i think this has been hampered in several ways. it is and knowledge and that did not exist before that the federal government has a key role to play in addressing this foreclosure crisis. it cannot just be left to the private sector. that was in major step forward. i think that has established some major steps for the market. the debt to income ratio that is the benchmark of the
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affordability for the camp program, that is a huge part of this. homeowners would tell you that servicers were off " -- would offer loans that were an increase in payments to people that were already in over their heads and facing foreclosure. 40% of your income going to your mortgage will not work. i think this is really notable and the obama administration deserves tremendous credit for that. another thing that i think is really important about hamp is the detailed data that is being collected. what is happening to people with these loan modifications and what our, our people experiencing? i think this will help us understand how this process works and who is being helped and who is not being held and why so that we can get more help to more people. i want to particularly and --
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particularly commend the obama administration for collecting information on the gender and race and national origin of people applying for the hemp. as i said earlier on, this crisis has had a disproportionate impact on minority communities and i think it's incumbent upon us and our government to reach a solution that treats of people on an equitable basis. it is a voluntary program, so servicers sign of to participate, but they're not required to for the most part. that creates some inherent limitations in the government's ability to compel performance or compliance. as thomas mentioned, it was designed for the first wave of this crisis and is not set up at this point to do with the subsequent waves that have come a long period and the of the thing is that it is not the
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slightest -- it is not sized to deal with the scope of the problem. ifheamp -- if hamp meet its goals, then we can expect assistance, but we are expecting more foreclosures or 2012 and it gets us maybe one-third of the way there. it is not going to be enough. tom also mentioned some of the problems that have been experienced by our hrs and counselors and attorneys working with -- by bar workers and counselors and attorneys working with borrowers. there are things that can be done in the short run that would improve hamp and make it work more effectively and efficiently. one thing is to stop foreclosures, not just foreclosure sales, which definitely need to be stopped. selling someone's home foreclosure while they're waiting to find out if they are
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eligible for the program is a violation and we hope that will be cracked down upon. but servicers need to be moving down the road toward foreclosure -- it causes lots of problems. increases the cost to borrowers and people do not know what their status is and whether they should be in touch with their servicer. it need to stop altogether. the second thing is that net present value model, which is the black box behind the program that is critical to the decision about whether someone is going to get a loan modification or whether they will be turned down. it needs to be opened up and improved so that people will understand how they are being evaluated. right now, borrowers do not get any information about what goes into the model and that should be changing in part beginning in january but there is still a
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lot of information that they will not know that goes into the model and what comes out of the model. there is really not a way for borrowers to know that their application was handled properly, that the servicer did it right and that the right conclusion was reached in their case. that needs to change. there needs to be better communication with borrowers. our housing center in the gulf, and louisiana, is dealing with a borrower in mississippi who just got turned down for a hot hamp modification. that -- the letter said, we considered you and you do not pass because the property equity is not consistent with our program guidelines. do any of you know what that means? it is not helpful to a borrower to know that your property equity does not meet our program guidelines. it does not tell them what they could be doing differently to
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save their home. we need efforts to improve communication. the date of disclosure, that will be very important. we are looking forward to getting the detailed data like what we get under the home mortgage disclosure act. it will be helpful for people at the local level to figure out where the program in their communities is and is not working, which servicers are doing a good job and which ones are not. which communities are getting the help that they need and which ones are not, and to be able to intervene and make it work better. we are hoping it will come quickly in the new year. principal reduction is an option in hamp, but not a requirement. servicers can take a portion of the loan and pay it off -- and and you can pay off at the end. but you do not pay interest in the meantime. that is good, but not enough to reduce the value that you own --
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that you go. to realign the value of the debt that you wrote is important. there's a lot of research that shows that is the case. that is to be given priority in the program. we need a different appeals process. it is a complex program and there are a lot of places that it can go wrong and a lot of places where borrowers need someone to intervene on their behalf. they need someone with a can go outside of their service or to get someone to take another look to make sure that their application was handled properly and that the right decision was reached. the last decision i want to mention hamp as it is is that borrowers who are in bankruptcy while they are also undergoing a review for a hamp modification, servicers are allowed to offer modifications for people in bankruptcy, but the report from around the country is that they routinely deny hamp loan
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modifications for people who are currently in bankruptcy and if someone starts the hamp process and then entered -- enters bankruptcy they get kicked out or if they are in the trial timeframe they get kicked out. that does not make a lot of sense. in bankruptcy, what can you do? you can eliminate second mortgages, which are often a source of the problem in terms of the debt that people are carrying, and also the debt on the property. and you can reduce people's non mortgage debt, so that the back end ratio that is the anchor around the neneck of a lot of people that is bogging down can be reduced. we ought to be reaching out to people who are in rent -- in bankruptcy you are having trouble with their mortgages, not taking them out of the program. that is a change that we hope the administration will make. i want to wrap up by suggesting a couple of things that hamp was not designed to do, but we think
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are really important to bring this crisis to a close and to bring stability back to the housing market and to the economy. what is the loss mitigation, this effort of servicers working together with borrowers to try to find a way to make their mortgage affordable to them? it ought to be mandatory, right? in every case where a borrower cannot make their mortgage payment, they ought to sit down with their servicer to figure of a loan modification manageable. it may not work in every case, but there should be an attempt. it does not happen now on a voluntary basis. it needs to be mandatory. we need to address the problem of the unemployed. clearly, this is on the administration's radar screen. a lot of people are thinking about how to do this. there is a program in pennsylvania that some of you may be familiar with during this is being viewed as a potential model, at least on the advocate side. it will provide two or three year loans to homeowners to help
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make their mortgage payment while they're unemployed and when they get back on their feet thick and pay that loan back over time. -- back on their feet, they can pay that loan back overtime. i think it is time to address the issue of bankruptcy reform and give the ability to judges in bankruptcy courts to modify mortgages, which they currently do not have. this got a huge effort earlier this year, and then failed in congress. but i think there is beginning to be an interest in revisiting it because i think the folks are saying that without that leverage out there, without that stick it goes along with the carrot that programs like hamp provides, services to not have enough incentive to change their practices, to change their procedures and get people into loan modifications. and finally, the last thing that i think we ought to be considering is something that civil-rights groups called for
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-- i want to say it was a year- and-a-half ago -- which was a moratorium on foreclosures until we can figure a way to contain them. there are a lot more people going into foreclosure every month and we are able to get help to. the consequences of that are tremendous, on all of us. i think it would help us all to put that on hold and -- on hold for the time being until we can figure out a way to get help to people who really need it. >> good morning, i am faced schwartz and i managed the hotel lines. -- face shorts and i manage the hope now allies. i will talk to you briefly about hope now and focus on the landscape and the goals that we have to deal with in the changing landscape that will work with the government and advocates and servicers and investors to make a difference to reach borrowers at risk of foreclosure, to counsel
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borrowers at risk for foreclosure and look at all our to relatives before they go to foreclosure sale. the alliance was formed 26 months ago with the last administration talking to the whole industry, nonprofits, and investors, servicers, banks, rich neighbors -- the list goes on and on. we need to get together and start coordinating how to approach this effort. there are 45 member companies inside of hope now. 34 of them are servicers. we have the mortgage insurance companies, fannie mae, freddie mac as members. we have all of the hud approved non-profit counseling agencies. but we host and work with a homeowner's preservation foundation hotline, which has 10 counseling agencies of 600 counsellors better involved in supporting that hot line. and with the industry trade groups that are part of that as well.
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it has been an unprecedented collaboration. it is hard to measure success with such a wave, as debi noted. one thing i would also like to notice the interest only loans that are spilling into the subprime market. core logic has a great day based on what is going on with equity in the mortgages. i think is important for the for the discussion on equity. 10.7 million people are under water on their mortgages. that is 23% of all first mortgages. nasa has 65% of their mortgages under water, qarizadah 40%, florida 35%, calif., 35%. -- arizona 40%. in the rest of the country, it is 14% on average. in sheer numbers, california has 2.4 million, florida, 2
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million. approximately 3.5 million people are 60 days past due. we know that since december of 2007 from the department of labor that there have been 7.3 million or more jobs lost. we have had a significant shift to prime foreclosures, more economic now, of course, and therefore closing at a rate at three times that of the separate loans on the sheer numbers. option arms had concerns -- have a significant resets through 2012, as noted. and proprietary modifications are now shifting into the government's making more affordable modifications. we will see the data in a moment, where the shift is taking place. we also know that 650,000 trial hamp modifications in process, which has been a push to close
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by 2012 to three of its 75,000. capacity of servicers is a huge issue -- 375,000. capacity of servicers is a huge issue. the old model of loan servicing has been this intermediate. -- has been this intermediate. the door knockers are going out, there are a lot of third parties and helping servicers to try to work with this issue. it goes on and on. hope now has been focused initially -- it was focused on one out of two people going to foreclosure never contacted their loan servicer world bank. or they could not get through or whatever. as we saw this wave coming, it was a significant amount of people who were never even in conversations so that they drive was get to the noncontact at risk borrowers and bring them in for counseling to avoid
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foreclosure. we did a leveraged and scale up date hotline and while of now was a voluntary initiative, no one could join if they could not pay for the hot line of their borrowers got canceled. we worked with the investor community to help reimburse them and fannie mae and freddie mac balance sheet and wall street form to reimburse that. that was helpful since we have had millions of calls. yesterday, we have a thousand calls. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 600 counsellors man those lines. -- yesterday, we had 8000 calls. we work with the federal reserve banks, treasury, fannie mae, freddie mac, all of the servicers at the local nonprofit housing services on the ground. we bring in our worst of risk and we work with servicers -- we
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bring in borrowers at risk and we work with servicers face-to- face. while successful, it is not meeting the challenges fully because of the numbers. we have come a long way on the average events, but we are getting better and getting cindy reporter -- reporting from the servicers on what is happening -- same date reporting from the services of what is happening with the borrowers. because of the changing landscape, going forward we're looking at modification to the camp mott's. -- hamp mods. we're looking to complete these modifications. we're also looking at a model on the ground. to have two thousand or 4000
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people health is fantastic, but when there are thousands out there, is there a way to be sustained in the market with servicers and counselors to work with borrowers over a series of time and make a difference in that region? we're looking hard at that as well. one other method about reach is that we have expanded to -- method of outreach is that we have expanded our website to look at a loan to orol to bring in documents from counselors in a completed hamp mod so that there is no more lost documentation, so they can make decisions quickly with a completed application. it seems simple, but it took a long time to even get to this. and we have six nationwide servicers, six different counseling agencies that created it, designed it, and we have documents that we can push in and we have the status of a
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counselor and where they are in the process. that is exciting. it has been piloted this month. we hope to scale that up shortly. i think i will skip back to the data to wrap up. barry noted about the millions of people at risk and concerning the data that we have collected for the past 24 months, it indicates the same. we have 40 million loans being collected from 27 national servicers. key data elements that have been important -- we are revving up the data collection and changing it because of the government and program and things sliding, thankfully, into the government program. we want to wrap up the non- government data reporting as we have been reporting it this way. but we have some interesting statistics that have shifted and it shows a landscape change from subprime to prime.
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94,000 hours when to foreclosure sale -- 94,000 borrowers went to foreclosure sale. 26,000 were subprime. we have seen a leveling off on subprime because there was so much focus on managing the product early on. foreclosure start in october to under 22,000. -- 222,000. 2.6 million loans have been worked out through proprietary modifications or repayment plans through october. in addition, 650,000 hamp in process -- 650,000 government hamp modifications are under way. it was interesting is that today, there are 704 actual foreclosure sales this year.
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but on the scarier note is the foreclosure starts are escalating in the -- and the pipeline of distressed borrowers is very large. it does not answer was going to have been going forward. history may not repeat itself there. you have heard the data. let me say, wrapping up, i concur with tom and debbie, there's a lot of good work going on on how to make sure that one lone does not go to for closure that has not been reviewed properly for any modification. hamp is a voluntary program, but it is illegal contract for all those people that signed up with the treasury. the requirement is that they have to look at those loans that are eligible for hamp. that is a legal contract. it is normally volunteer once they sign up and recover a great part of the market. i am optimistic we will see more
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on that. i agree that there are task forces, under way -- a task force is under way. i think we have to focus on unemployment. it is threatening all of the work. whether it is fannie mae and freddie mac modifications or hamp modifications, it can really affect things. we're reviewing the services to get information quickly. many of them do not pass the nvp -- npv test. that is very important. the government -- it is incumbent upon us to look at new products, such as equity sharing, a principal right down refinances that investors can
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get some of it back if it appreciates over a certain number of years. but we need some products to deal with in principle write down. there is some interference with that in the modification. capacity, capacity, capacity -- that is my focus. i think are close with that. -- i think i will close with that. >> i have alerted everyone to your late arrival and i want to be sure that you have a chance to feel some of the questions, ok? >> [inaudible] just in time for the fund. >> that is exactly right.
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phyllis is the chief officer for the department of the treasury to oversee management of the affordable homemaking program. she was previously a part of the washington women's foundation, which those fabulous work in the area and has focused on improving the lives of women and girls by foster in philanthropic giving in the washington area. prior to that, phyllis was within america, where she was president of the community banking group and has 20 years of experience in sales and management with bank of america and also citicorp and ernst and young. she has been one of the great leaders in canada to develop finance -- in community development finance. just to recap, some progress made, importance by the
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administration, hope now, and others. -- important steps by the administration, now and others. rising unemployment, pay off in arms and interest only notes starting to push through the system. the subprime pig, good or bad, right or wrong, has been largely digested through the snake, i think. now we have a whole new set of pigs the starting to work their way through the snake. there are a host of outstanding policy issues that have not been addressed yet, or addressed and not resolved. bankruptcy reform, which is a significant piece of balancing the interests of lenders santa borrowers, defeated -- of lenders and borrowers, defeated in the senate earlier this year. it is a lot to deal with. i will turn the helm over to
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you. we have a terrific group of four people here who are as deeply knowledgeable about the world of more -- mortgage modifications as anyone. let me ask them to come up -- ask you to come to the microphones so that you can have oliver burning questions answered. oh, c'mon, you guys, i know there is a question or two here. let me start by asking, as you have begun the work to move temporary -- you know, try modifications to permanent modifications, can you talk about what you're seeing? is there some sense that this is not on pays? the administration has been very clear about that. what are using are the obstacles and what steps, for instance, can consumer advocates take to try to accelerate the working with their constituents
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and what steps can be taken in the short term to fix this? >> i will first of all say that we, for the last three days, have had teams of people from treasury out at the top aide servicers, which cover 85% of the market, looking at what they are doing. we asked them to divide their population into those loans where they had all of the documentation in and they needed to get decisions made and communicated to those bars because people were taking time -- to those borrowers because people were taken the time to get the carpet -- documentation. we had some borrowers groups somthat have some documentation, but not enough. and then we had a group that had no documents in and had not been paying. what we have been seeing from phone reports back from the field is that for those borrowers that have all of the
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documents in on aren't -- and are waiting on decisions, there are some decisions where there are not clear guidelines in the program and we are addressing issues about 30 to 36 questions per day on how servicers can interpret things with in the hamp guidelines to get things may. we expect a lot of decisions to be made. the other challenge that we haven't seen -- have been seeing is that there is a longer time, if you will, from once decisions are made to getting documents signed. they're telling us that we might not see the compete -- completed close by the end of december, but they are having a huge increase in document out to the borrowers. in terms of the -- those things where documents are incomplete, that is the biggest challenge, in my view, and that is where there are multiple sites to a very complex issue.
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some say that there needs to be further clarification in terms of income verification, and that is the largest bucket, if you will, of documents were there is a problem. a second one is getting the tax form and the turnaround time by the irs, by the time they get the forms back, their forms are inspired. that is something that we will try to address. >> the waiver of privacy -- >> which is only valid for 60 days and because servicers were so backed up at the beginning, but they were -- by the time they are giving to those, they are beyond 60 days and the irs is not going to take those. we are trying to do something about that immediately so people do not go back in the queue. finally, there are some places where we have to do better outreach in terms of getting people educated on the importance of documents.
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there are more than enough cases were servicers have not done their part and they are taking accountability for that and they are self acknowledging places where they did not ramp up in time. but there also acknowledging situations where they are setting fedex and dockers and gift cards out to certain borrowers and not getting the document back. they're trying to understand what might have changed that the borrower is not ready to make the next step. that is where we are. it has been a fascinating project and the real goal is to see how much we can push or pull through this pipeline by the end of the year but i am glad to hear the treasury is having a better time getting -- by the end of the year. >> i'm glad you're the treasury's having a better time getting through the phone systems that we are. we have all of knowledge that is a big problem, getting through.
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i would like to hear what is going to happen to folks who have submitted their documents, but for the whom the servicer does not move things along by the end of the extension timeframe. i think people are very wary about they have sent their stuff in and still have not heard. they are left in limbo. mainly, i want to make a point that i think your comments really raise, which is now where you were getting out, but from the counseling world one of the problems that we are experiencing is that counselors are going through the same step over and over again with borrowers because of the problems with the systems. we are eager to see this web portal were documents would be uploaded electronically and yacht have to worry about whether they have changed the fax number or the fax is jammed or someone loses the facts when it gets to the servicer. -- or someone loses the fax when it gets to the servicer.
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but there are some borrowers who are going to the steps repeatedly because of the problems at the servicer and and they are not getting paid for that. there is not enough money out there to pay for the services and is not structured in a way that will elect an agency keep staff and pay for staff. that is another piece of this that we have not really talked about this morning, but also needs to be addressed if we are going to get through this crisis. >> phyllis? meet phyllis. >> television in arizona has been flooded with people calling to offer solutions to their problems. in addition to this, we have phone calls that are going to people and telling them that they have a solution and these people go to the people and then there are up-front cost
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endangering their assets with these up-front costs. and then after that, they give up after a while. they just simply do not know where to go. i do not know whether you have any suggestions -- hope now is a possibility, but do you have any other suggestions were we can assist them in trying to -- to save their homes. >> without having to pay for a fee-for-service with services that can be obtained for free from hope now and other services. greg, go ahead. >> from our perspective, we recognize that foreclosures cans are a huge problem. -- foreclosure scams are a huge problem. we have a lot of inflation on the website. in the coming weeks -- a lot of
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information on the website. in the coming weeks, we will be putting out a video to make borrowers aware. and we made clear in our literature that the making a home affordable program is free and they should not have to pay. that gives you a sense of what our efforts are. there is a broader group that fannie and freddie and hope now and neighboring works are part of it specifically to charge mortgage fraud. there's an awareness campaign, prosecutions and what not. i think we have a web site, loanscam.org or something. we have reason to recognize that there is a problem and that website should have resources. >> but i want to give you a heads up. we worked on prosecuting some
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companies with hope now as a witness and attorneys generals. our website was minnick and even people would call and say it was hope now. i was -- i would call people and say, who are you? we worked closely with them and this task force is important because it is getting the word out. but the ftc is where consumers complain about that and it needs to be -- we have literature that we hand out at our outreach advance. i would direct those people right into the ftc, but consumers have to go there directly. it is hard to have a counselor get in there. >> for consumer advocates here, like phyllis who are working in communities, can they obtain materials from hope now that they can distribute to their constituents? or offer to people and these psa's will be available to local organizations to promote at
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their radio and tv stations? we will try to make that list available. >> it is all coordinated, but that is material that will be available. i want to add one ironic little note. phyllis manchin to that many of the servicers -- phyllis mentioned that many of the servicers have hired a third party contractors to go out and knock on people's doors. ironically, some people have gotten the message about the loan foreclosures cams and that are not working with those people. too often, what we hear is that these third-party contractors that the servicers are using do not identify themselves as coming from the servicer. so, it is some other company and the bar or having heard, do not get sucked into one of these scams, will not deal with them. it is one other thing that is clogging up the pipeline. it seems like it should be easy to fix, but it has not been fixed yet. >> good morning, i'm charlene
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brown with fannie mae. i particularly want to say i appreciate your comments about the loss of wealth to the minority communities. as lenders retreat, you know that is only going to exacerbate the problem. there is another way if that is coming that was not mentioned today in terms of foreclosures, and that is, what we're hearing from some of our partners is strategic for closures. the families who are not in the delete with the situation, but a situation that may be more appropriate for a harp and are deciding to foreclose. they will -- in some cases, they have investment properties and it will foreclose on their primary residence and move into an investment property. or you have a situation where the spouse may decide to purchase the home and foreclose on the current home when the mortgage is not in both partie'' names.
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i wonder, faith particularly, if some of the outreach, if i hope now is considering doing some of the harp events or focusing exclusively on the others? >> would you clarify heart? >> it is the -- which you clarify harp? >> i believe it is the refinance program. with fannie mae and freddie mac, the reason it is of to -- you can refinance up to 125% negative equity loan. the fha program was meant to be a ride down opportunity. i have to say i'm not convinced -- and this is not negative about it. it is a great attempt, but i
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think we need a stronger refinance program that deals with equity for various reasons on what principle can be written down to get into those products. we have not seen quite the momentum that we expected in the h, 4h, or the other programs that we have been expecting. >> i do not know that a lot of families are even aware that there is this possibility. >> we should probably raise awareness, you are correct. we should talk with fannie mae and freddie mac. that would help. >> last question. >> i council people locally going through foreclosure. those foreclosures camps where people reach out and request funding, -- the foreclosure scams where people reach out and request funding, they are legal.
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to call them scams is a bit misleading. maryland is one of the few states where it is illegal, but in most municipalities it is legal. it is unfortunate, but keep that in mind. the treasury program is very well intended, but it is not indexed to the price of the home. as a result, just as we have seen the first-time homebuyer credit kind of a sop up the demand of the low-priced homes, it strikes me that by not making it based on a percentage of the home by you, that we are emphasizing homes on the low-end and we may not be reaching homes on the higher end. the servicer and the current mortgage holder will obviously respond to incentives. if the $1,000 payment makes the $200,000, or the $100,000 home mortgage modifiable, but it does
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not make the $300,000 or the $400,000 home mortgage modifiable, i wonder if you have looked at whether indexing those based on a percentage. >> indexing based on a percentage of payment that the servicers get? >> yes. >> the basic framework is that the loan has to be conforming loan, which currently has to be at 29.5. do not confuse the affront servicer and center -- incentive fee, which is used to incentivize the modified slone with the dollar for dollar support in dtr reduction from 30% to 31%. that is where you'll get that affordability matrix. when you do not look up the size of the mortgage -- we just
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looked at what can be done with it, if that makes sense. the goal is to -- the servicers will write it down to 30% of debt to income and then there is a dollar for dollar incentive to bring up to 31% and the mortgage does not matter. >> are you seeing any more success with lower-priced mortgages than higher value mortgages? i am wondering if you have seen it at all like that. >> i think the data we have seen -- is too soon to tell, really. it is not enough to form a basis on that. >> let me add that part of the effort around this conversion drive is to get that kind of data to look at the outcomes of the program because there is an acknowledgement within treasury that the program started in march of last year and it was under development leading up to that in a very different home market. one of the things that is always an ongoing process is
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looking at how the program may need to be adapted relative to changing market conditions. right now, it is too soon to tell. >> just to wrap up, i think this program is going to gain more urgency as farmers began resetting in the next two years because i would -- as arms begin to reset in the next two years because of its success -- suspect that a lot of these loans may have been financed with these kinds of loans. and there, the hamp mechanism is a very effective tool because in some cases, borrowers are already paying very little interest and lowering the interest rate is not going to reduce their payments sufficiently. this is where principal reductions may come into play. i hate to cut things off. we have another panel and i have seen the folks go during in. would you want to keep on schedule. please join me in thanking the
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panel. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> the u.s. house is in session shortly. legislative work will begin at 12:00 p.m. eastern. 13 bills will be considered today, mostly dealing with environmental issues and national parks. no votes are expected. we will have live coverage beginning at noon eastern. the flag flying at half staff today in tribute to pearl harbor day. but we'll have more about that shortly. the u.s. senate is also in session today beginning at 10:00 a.m. eastern. a number of amendments are expected today, including one offered by senators nelson and
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hatchett, limiting abortion coverage. live coverage on c-span2. also, federal chairman ben bernanke will have remarks at 12:45 p.m. eastern on c-span3. and today is the 60th anniversary of the japanese attack on pearl harbor. the national park service has been collecting stories from that day. here is a brief look. >> i took my vehicle and ran up to the bridge, that -- i took my bugle and ran to the bridge. that is, battle station was. and then the captain came out and this was about -- a couple of minutes after 8:00. and he can appear and said, my god, we are at war. -- and he came up here and said, my god, we are at war. the next thing i remember is there was a terrible explosion on the tennessee, the no. 2 gun
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turret. there was trouble all over the place and i looked around and the captain was -- shrapnel all over the place and i looked around and the captain was on the deck. his arm was torn in half. we made him as comfortable as we could. this was eight or nine minutes after 8:00 and we stood up and all of a sudden i saw the arizona explode. i tell you, i never was so scared in my whole life. you could feel the tremendous heat and the concussion blue as back into the pilot house. i think there was a signal and we got hold of our executive officer. the commander came up and captain deneen was still alive and he looked down and said, capt. what are my orders? the only thing the captain said was, he said, the ship is yours.
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i am not going to make it. and that is all. we stayed up on the bridge through all of the torpedoes and strafing. and the commander said, what the hell are we doing up here? let's get below. >> to watch more from these national parks services, go to c-span.org. the u.s. house will return at 2:00 p.m. eastern. until then, your calls and comments from today's "washington journal." treasury seeing a smaller loss from the bail out? caller: think this is another lie to the people. so the fed doesn't have to open up your books. mr. ben bernanke open up your books. the feds giving trade to their buddies on wall street. host: caller touching on - ben ben bernanke. he be in washington today and we plan live coverage on c-span
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three. one of our companion networks at 12:45 eastern. he'll talk about some of the most frequently asked questions of the federal reserve. said chair. 12:45 and from georgia, steve, democrat, hi. there. caller: yes, i'm calling about the news about the tarp funds coming in. and there is nothing this president does that is a good thing for this country. i am so glad to hear the good news.
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this country wants them to fail. they do not care what good comes out of it. the only objective is that this country fails under this president. i'm so happy to see the news coming out of these studies that is actually good news. we would have been in the worst economic situation if this president has not taken the steps that he did. now they are saying that it is a hoax, which is not the case. this country was at the brink of economic ruin and this president has succeeded in pulling out of that. but these republicans have failed to realize that. host: i appreciate your thoughts this morning. timothy geithner making news again. the money section of "usa today."
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he said this in a -- in an interview with bloomberg. a reminder, too, that the house takes up in major financial regulation bill, we think, midweek or so. live coverage here on c-span. caller: this is nothing to do with democrats or republicans. but there is a tremendous disconnect here. doesn't anyone notice it? the dow was down to 6000 points, and more statistics kept coming out, more people are losing their jobs, their homes, more people have nowhere to turn.
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they are getting part-time jobs. they are looking to scrounge and to hold on to a place to live. as all of this is going on, the stock market went up 4000 points. on the back of our misery. it seems that more americans are said -- that the more americans are suffering, the more cheap labor they could get, the more jobs are disconnected, the more profit these guys are making. i was a capitalist. i was rooting. and now i'm not sure that i want to work for wall street. they are making billions and people here are trying to make -- pay their rent. this is a tremendous disconnect. and these guys, timothy geithner and ben bernanke, they scare the hell out of me. i think they are crooks without guns. host: there is a wall street journal lead story today that says business fumes over epa rule.
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patrick, good morning, how are you? caller: i'm great.
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i would like to zepa a record straight that the tarp was actually -- we are finding out that it is paying off, which is what the plan was opposed to when it began. now obama out was for the plan and now he is reaping the benefit for it. people on this side are against obama because he is anti free market. stimulus had nothing to do with stimulating this market. taxing corporations who employ americans and legislation that outsources american workers to say, india, is not doing the worker of america at any favors. and owning industries in ottawa and real estate does not help this economy peter.
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he needs to lower taxes on companies. host: thanks for your thoughts. we will take another look at the photo of president obama in roll-call this morning. we will talk with the managing editor of "congressional quarterly" in a few minutes. the senate is back at it at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. as far as afghanistan goes, the general stanley mcchrystal to testify on the hill this week. the "washington post" headline says that afghanistan stays mainly intact.
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that is in the "washington post" today. and usa today, at general david patraeus says the surge will not have quick results. next call on the treasury story in the "new york times" today, portland, ore., jeff, democratic caller. hello there. good morning, jeff. caller: i just wanted to say
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that benjamin franklin said whenever he was in office that these banks are going to screw us over and take all of our money and charge us to let -- too much on our loans, and i think that is what they have done. host: aiding else? caller: nope. host: let's hear from oakland, calif., charles. caller: i am missing three days of my salary every month. and these corporations, they only on my electrical bill. i have called them and said i'm going to be a little bit late. they just charged me $350 for being late. these corporations are out of control. i think it is corporations period

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